Data privacy legislation, such as GDPR, is designed to protect individuals' personal information from being mishandled or misused. Failing to comply with these laws can lead to significant consequences, including fines, reputational damage, and legal action. However, compliance is not just about having the right policies and procedures in place; it also depends on the actions and behaviors of employees.
We aren't, however, identifying employees as a threat to your organization (a worrying theme we see quite frequently today). Quite the opposite, in fact. People must be empowered to protect sensitive data rather than frightened with fear tactics, or overloaded with hours of training and complex processes and procedures.
After all, employees are not hired to be data protectors or security specialists. They have a job to do and they need to be empowered to do it as safely as possible.
The problem of human error in data privacy compliance
Employees who are unaware of data privacy requirements are more likely to make mistakes that could potentially put an organization at risk of non-compliance.
According to a 2022 data security report by Verizon that analyzed 23,000 data security incidents from around the world, over 82% of data breaches involved a human element — including human error. As such, awareness training on best practices and procedures is essential. But even with comprehensive data protection training and policies in place, there will always be the risk of human error - you can't train a person to avoid making mistakes.
In our Freedom to Focus report, we found that while 67% of employees have recently received some kind of data security training, only 36% have actually used the things they learnt in their core role. This shows that a lot of data security training is completely separate to an employee’s daily life and workflow. Not only does this mean employees are less likely to change their behavior to be more data secure, it may actually contribute to accidental errors.
Having to learn and remember new tools and processes makes it harder to focus on one’s core role and responsibilities, leaving employees distracted and less productive. Such an employee is more likely to make a critical email error, like sending sensitive information to the wrong recipient or attaching the wrong file. And when that happens, specific measures need to be taken in order to remain compliant — such as acting quickly to limit exposure and proving the extent of the breach.
How Zivver can help keep your employees compliant
Zivver’s third-generation email security solution is an effective way to reduce the risk that human error poses to data privacy compliance. We’re always up-to-date on the latest data privacy legislation and procedures, ensuring that our solutions are equipped to safeguard compliance.
Our smart and intuitive tools can help your employees identify and correct email errors before they happen, and then prove the extent of exposure whenever a data breach does occur. For example, users are alerted whenever sensitive information is about to be sent to a contact that hasn’t received that type of content before. The level of confidentiality is determined by our smart classification system — an advanced machine learning algorithm trained on millions of data points.
When a message is sent in error, our email security solution makes it possible to recall the email quickly and easily. Data logs provide a user-friendly overview of email performance, enabling data protectors to identify the extent of a leak if one has occured. If no one opened the email before it was recalled, your business will be able to prove that the data leak was contained effectively — making it far easier for data protection legislators to write up and resolve the case.
Employees are your data protection frontline
Rather than overwhelming employees with security measures, businesses should empower them to work securely without disrupting their productivity. Effective security leaders recognize that training, while important, can’t stop human error. So they implement smart security solutions that fit smoothly into employees' workflows, enabling them to follow best practices without having to change their behavior.
Learn more about how Zivver can empower your employees to stay compliant with smart, effortless, and powerful email security. You can also download our Freedom to Focus report for a detailed look at how email security has affected the modern workplace.
Last updated - 07/02/23